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Growing mushrooms on hay

 
Posts: 65
Location: Columbia, Ky
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Hey all,
In my limited knowledge of fungi, I find the opinion of others very valuable, so please tell me what you think.

My situation; I bought dowel spawn this spring and was too lazy to use it all up so I still have some left in my refrigerator. I'm told it will not last till spring so I want to use it up. I love the idea of growing shrooms on straw bales but Sepp Holzer has a very strong aversion to using non organic straw and I feel the same way, but I do have organic hay. I'm also told not to grow shrooms on hay because it's to rich and won't last as long. If those are the only legit concerns then I will use hay.

Can I inoculate a hay bale with oyster plug spawn?

I have a warm wood heated basement and a hoop house. Which would be better for a bale of mushrooms to grow in the winter?

Thanks, Phil
 
Posts: 3370
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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Hay is rich and that makes it easier for mold and bacteria to overpower the fungi. But what do you have to lose? A bale of hay, so I say try it.

I would use a lime or ash solution to pasteurize the hay as best as I could to give the spawn a fighting chance. Maybe expand the spawn in some sawdust first, depending how many plugs you have.

I would say the schoolhouse is best for the spawn run, the cooler temps again giving the fungi some advantage over bacteria growth. Fruiting depends on the strain of mushroom, look up what the supplier says the fruiting temp is and move the bale to the closest thing you have when the time comes.
 
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Dowel spawn is normally drilled into wood. Now is a great time to harvest wood to drill. You can't get any?
JohNS
PDX OR
 
Philip Nafziger
Posts: 65
Location: Columbia, Ky
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Thanks for the thoughts R Scott!

I can get wood but since colonization takes longer in wood I didn't figure inoculating this time of year with these temps would be easy. I guess I could do logs and put them in the hoop house or basement huh?
 
John Suavecito
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Yes, logs in the basement etc. would be better. Dip them in rainwater every month or two if its' dry.
John S
PDX OR
 
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I have been studying, getting ready to start growing oyster mushrooms. Lots of great info out there but here's where I am stumped. I don't have a basement and I live in Oklahoma where it gets very hot and very cold at times. I am wondering if buying a portable building and controlling the temp would be the way to go or should I get something more like a hoop house that I can keep light out of. Is a wood or metal portable building best or should I just buy an ecosytems with shelves covered in plastic. If I do that I still have to keep the ambient temperature between 60 and 70 degrees outside so I am back to the building question. Would love to know your thoughts.
 
John Suavecito
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Are you starting a business or feeding your family?
John S
PDX OR
 
pat russell
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Starting small operation
 
R Scott
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I had a large barn/machine shed with a cement floor I am using, but it is off grid and uninsulated. I have set up row covers or small greenhouse structures inside to control humidity. I am changing my strains throughout the year to follow the weather. Cold blue will fruit down to 35, tropical strains up to 110.

There is another grower nearby that uses a greenhouse. They don't have to heat it unless it is really cold, but they spend a fair bit on running exhaust fans for cooling. Even with heavy shade cloth or tarp cover.

How much space do you have? Will it have power? How much do you want to grow?

 
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Years ago I used to grow paddy straw mushrooms (Volvariella) in hay bales. I put the bales in the garden area at the end of the winter rains (California). When they were wetted, they would begin to heat up. I would check the temp every day with a thermometer, and as soon as the temp began to drop I would innoculate. The bales would cover themselves in fruiting bodies. After three waves about a week apart, production would drop, and I would bust apart the bales and use the mulch right there in the garden. This technique gave our extended friends/family network a very good supply of mushrooms through the year. I would do 10-12 bales a year using this technique.

Michael
 
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Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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I tried straw bale gardening (failure) but I did get TONS of these things:

Do it!
shrooms-on-bale.jpg
[Thumbnail for shrooms-on-bale.jpg]
 
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Heat your home with the twigs that naturally fall of the trees in your yard
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